ATU’s Singleton Earns Prestigious Scholarship

Helping others through military service and medicine is a family tradition for Arkansas Tech University senior Gideon Singleton.

A pre-medicine biology major from Little Rock, Singleton has been chosen to receive a health professional scholarship from the U.S. Army that will allow him an educational delay to complete medical school before beginning his service to country.

“My father was in the U.S. Navy, and my grandfathers were in the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Army,” said Singleton, son of Amber and Dr. Ken Singleton of Little Rock. “They were all officers, and my dad actually earned this same scholarship in the Navy. When my dad returned from Iraq in, I believe it was 2003, that was when I realized I wanted to be a soldier and serve in some capacity. The further I examined my life and my strengths, as well as the example that my dad and grandfathers set as physicians, I was drawn to the field of medicine. My first goal was to serve the country by joining the Army. As I grew older, I realized that I was gifted in a way that would make me a good physician and allow me to help people in the way my father and grandfathers have. Getting the scholarship is hugely important because it allows me to do both of those things at the same time.

“I have a pretty strong legacy behind me, and it’s not something that was ever forced on me,” continued Singleton. “My dad never even mentioned the possibility of me becoming a physician, and it was never assumed either. A love for science and medicine just grew in me independent of that. To see what my dad has accomplished in his life and the difference he has been able to make in others’ lives, it is humbling to be able to follow in his footsteps.”

Singleton said the value of an Arkansas Tech education made the university his top college choice. Upon arriving at the Russellville campus, he found an environment that nurtured his interests.

“The student-to-teacher ratio here is really attractive…having teachers and professors who know me and care enough about me to help me,” said Singleton. “My initial plan was to go to Officer Candidate School after college, but when I realized there is an ROTC program here I saw the opportunity to grow while I was in school and gain training simultaneously with school. It allows you to adjust more to the Army lifestyle, but it also lets you get to know more people and learn from them. I’ve gotten to know people from different walks of life and discovered the life lessons they have learned. That’s been one of the strengths of the ROTC program, and it has given me opportunities to grow in leadership and responsibility.”

Surgery is among Singleton’s interests within the medical field, and he has completed job shadowing in that discipline.

“The (ATU) faculty in the sciences, specifically in biology, have pushed me to learn as much as I can in order to be prepared for the future,” said Singleton. “Through the difficult tests I have taken and the intense studying I have been required to do for the advanced courses, Arkansas Tech has prepared me academically. The cadre and the ROTC program have prepared me for the life side of my future, so I feel prepared scholastically, in leadership and in the attributes I should have.”

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